Building Partnerships for a Healthier Gulf
Governors' Action Plan III Is No Small Feat
An Editorial by Laura Bowie, Executive Director
At the recent 2016 GOMA All Hands meeting, we kicked off the beginning of another phase of GOMA by introducing Governors' Action Plan III for Healthy and Resilient Coasts. The keynote speaker, Dr. Russell Callender, noted,
"GOMA is the glue that connects all of the many activities going on in the Gulf. With the multitude of projects being implemented or planned, the relevance of GOMA is greater than ever and can also be considered a national model for successful regional partnership."
~ Dr. Russell Callender, Assistant Administrator for NOAA's National Ocean Service
Building on Dr. Callender's comments, I'd like to take this opportunity to emphasize the significance of this phase of GOMA. Taking approximately 18 months to develop, Action Plan III was first guided by a stakeholder survey that indicated the presence of new and emerging challenges for the Gulf States. Then, GOMA's Management Team determined that some of these new challenges could benefit from a regional approach by GOMA's partners. As a result, we developed two new priority issues and three cross-team initiatives. The real work began with setting the priorities: the Priority Issue Teams themselves developed the objectives and action steps, including more than 200 people. And finally, our Action Plan III once again garnered the support and approval of all five Gulf State governors!
All of this is a tremendous accomplishment, and the credit goes entirely to the voluntary efforts of the Alliance Management Team and Priority Issue Team chairs, coordinators, and members who saw value in the regional effort and dedicated time to it. As such, this Action Plan III embodies what GOMA is all about - coordinating and collaborating to do what we can for the Gulf. No one person or organization carries the load alone. And all involved ensure that the voices of our many stakeholders are heard. Built on such a foundation, Action Plan III will be used for many years to come as guidance for regional efforts to address Gulf challenges.
We'd like to take one last opportunity to thank our 2016 All Hands sponsors: Statoil * Gulf Sea Grant Program * NOAA * EPA Gulf of Mexico Program *Ocean Conservancy * OTT Hydromet * EFD * The Nature Conservancy * GOMURC * Mote Marine * Chevron * NGI * Allen Engineering
Publications and Resources Related to the Gulf of Mexico
For a bit of summer reading
Governors Action Plan III for Healthy and Resilience Coasts
by the Gulf of Mexico Alliance. This third plan is available through the Alliance.
Ten Year Summary Report: 2004 - 2014
by the Gulf of Mexico Alliance. This online report
is searchable through the Alliance.
The American Sea, A Natural History of the Gulf of Mexico
by Rezneat Darnell. This title and others are available through the Harte Research Institute Gulf of Mexico Studies Series
If you haven't seen this list of resources, visit the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management's Gulf of Mexico OCS Region Publications
Ports Resilience Index Released
Tool helps marine industry leaders identify actions for resilience
As the frequency of natural and man made hazards increases, ports play an important role in waterfront community resilience. They should be considered part of the solution to achieve resilient coasts. The Ports Resilience Index (PRI) is a self-assessment tool developed for port and marine industry leaders. It serves as a simple and inexpensive method of assessing if ports and the regional marine transportation sector are prepared to maintain operations during and after disasters. Completing the PRI will assist ports in developing actions for long-term resilience.
Louisiana Sea Grant and the Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium (MASGC) in conjunction with the Gulf of Mexico Alliance Resilience Team worked with port experts to develop the PRI. Case studies will be available in the future. To get a copy of the PRI contact Tracie Sempier or download it from GOMA
. The PRI and other resilience indexes are available from the MASGC
The Nature Conservancy Sea Level Rise Viewer
Scenarios developed for Copano and San Antonio Bays in Texas
The Nature Conservancy recently completed SLAMM-based scenarios of sea-level rise for Copano and San Antonio Bays in Texas. The work is intended to be an important resource for decision-making. They made available all data pieces from model input files to outputs, to GIS layers and PDF maps, and the final report with the additional coastal resilience analyses conducted. It can all be downloaded from this site
. Sea-level rise scenarios are available for visualization in two online portals Gulf Sea Level Rise
and Coastal Resilience Decision Support Tool
. The project funded by the Texas General Land Office and NOAA.
Scroll through our July events
calendar for these and other activities. Send in your workshops, webinars, meetings, conferences, and other notables for inclusion on our website events page.
The Gulf of Mexico Coastal Training program has several workshops scheduled through the fall. These include Blue Carbon, Use of Native Grasses, and Invasive Species. See what they have scheduled here.
From all of us at the Gulf of Mexico Alliance, we hope you have a safe and enjoyable July 4th!
November 30th - December 1st Mississippi-Alabama Bays & Bayous Symposium
December 10th - 15th Restore America's Estuaries 8th Annual Summit
February 6th - 9th, 2017 Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill & Ecosystem Science Conference 2017
March 26th - 30th, 2017 Gulf of Mexico One Gulf Summit 2017
& GOMA All Hands Meeting
Restoration Updates Information on Council activity is on their website RestoreTheGulf.gov.
Follow restoration activities with the Alabama Gulf Coast Recovery Council (AGCRC) here
Florida The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) maintains a website complete with latest updates, resources, links, and newsletters, including an overview of Florida's response to the oil spill. Each impacted county engages directly with their communities through the Gulf Consortium and the Florida Association of Counties. Contacts for each county can be found here.
Louisiana The State of Louisiana is represented by the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA) on state and RESTORE Council restoration activities. View all news, activities and calendar notices on the CPRA website.
il spill restoration information in Texas and related items can be found on the website www.restorethetexascoast.org.
Centers of Excellence
The five Gulf States Centers of Excellence:
Alabama Alabama Center of Excellence (ACE)
Florida Florida RESTORE Act Centers of Excellence Program (FLRACEP
NOAA RESTORE Act Science Program
Information related to the NOAA RESTORE Act Science Program can be found here including the Science Plan Final version. Download their funding opportunities calendar. The 2016 funding competition is currently open here. Letters of Intent are due July 8, 2016.
National Academy of Sciences' (NAS) Gulf Research Program
The NAS Gulf Research Program
Capacity Building Grants letters of intent are due July 13, 2016. In conjunction with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, NAS also released a new grant opportunity to Build Healthy, Resilient Coastal Communities. Letters of intent are due October 5, 2016. To get more information on these and future opportunities, go to the NAS Gulf Research Program grants webpage.
Natural Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA)
Comprehensive Gulf of Mexico NRDA information can found here.
National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund
The NFWF website has information on all funded projects. NFWF has a map page that displays all of their programs worldwide.
North American Conservation Wetlands Act Fund (NAWCA)
The US Fish and Wildlife Service maintains a website for NAWCA programs. Their 2016 grant cycle deadlines are now available.
Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI) The Oil Spill & Ecosystem Science Conference planning is underway. Mark your calendars for February 6 - 9, 2017 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Organizers are accepting requests for associated events and workshops. The GoMRI final RFP VI is in development. It is anticipated for release October 2016. Learn more about GoMRI and their research.
For a complete list of funding opportunities see our webpage
. Selected opportunities:
NOAA Restore Act Science Program Funding Opportunity - The opportunity is focused on living coastal and marine resources and their habitats. Letters of intent are due July 8, 2016 and full applications are due September 27, 2016.
NAS Gulf Research Program Capacity Building Grants - The intent is to strengthen the capacity of community networks and to enhance the impact of their work. Proposed projects should focus on networks that strive to use data, research findings, and scientific approaches to improve the environments and/or health and well-being of communities in coastal regions along the U.S. outer continental shelf. Letters of intent are due July 13, 2016 and full proposals are due September 14, 2016.
American Honda Foundation - Grant making that supports youth education with a specific focus on the STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) subjects in addition to the environment. The next application deadline is August 1, 2016.
NPS National Maritime Heritage Grant Program - Grants are for education or preservation projects. The deadline is August 5, 2016.
NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service Coastal Ecosystem Resiliency Grants Program - This opportunity is focused on projects that use a proactive approach to improving or restoration coastal habitat to: (1) strengthen the resilience of marine and coastal ecosystems and decrease the vulnerability of communities to extreme weather, and (2) support sustainable fisheries and contribute to the recovery of protected resources. Proposals are due August 16, 2016.
NAS Gulf Research Program - Enhancing Resilience and Well-being in Gulf Region Coastal Communities A Grants Program of the Gulf Research Program in Collaboration with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation - This funding opportunity seeks to enhance the resilience of Gulf region communities to the negative impacts of environmental change in ways that also improve health and well-being, and promote health equity. Proposed projects should seek to improve both the science and the practice of resilience by engaging integrative teams in the development of rigorous and actionable information and the testing and evaluation of strategies at a community-level. The Letter of Intent is due October 5, 2016.
NOAA RESTORE Act Science Program Funding CalendarLook for funding opportunities through GOMA's Gulf Star Partnership later this summer!
Open Comment Periods EPA Newest Environmental Justice Strategy - EJ 2020 Action Agenda - is now available for public comment. Comments are due July 7, 2016. NOAA has proposed a rule, Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic: Reef Fish Resources of the Gulf of Mexico; Recreational Management Measures; Control Date. The deadline to comment is July 15, 2016. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers issued a public notice to solicit comments on the proposed set of revised nationwide permits in the Federal Register. Comments may be submitted by e-mail to NWP2017@usace.army.mil or through the Federal eRulemaking portal at www.regulations.gov docket number COE-2015-0017. The written comment period that ends on August 1, 2016. The Environmental Law Institute (ELI) Ocean Program is conducting a 3-question survey on what makes a good restoration project.
The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council has several regulation items open for comment. These include regulations addressing Red Grouper, Yellowtail Snapper, Red Snapper, Shrimp, and Charter Vessel reporting requirements among others. To view these, their status, and find information to make comments go to the Gulf Council's webpage Scoping through Implementation.
Tips for Submitting Effective Comments